I’ve taught psychology and the legal system for the better part of a decade. Most years, when I’ve come to the eyewitness memory topic I have discussed the case of Ronald Cotton’s wrongful conviction for the rape of Jennifer Thompson.
For on-campus students I’ve always been able to show the excellent What Jennifer Saw documentary from PBS’s Frontline. But I also teach the subject by distance, so online video is ideal. I’ve only just learned that a 2009 60 Minutes show on the case has been made available online by CBS. It runs for almost half an hour in total.
If you’re interested in the psychology of eyewitness memory or the causes of miscarriages of justice, it’s worth watching. The first segment reviews the details of the case from the crime through to Cotton’s exoneration after 11 years in prison, and the second segment includes commentary and research demonstrations from Gary Wells and Elizabeth Loftus: